“THIS IS NOT HISTORY: THIS IS MY CASE”: CHURCHILL’S BRILLIANT HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
CHURCHILL, Winston. The Second World War: The Gathering Storm; Their Finest Hour; The Grand Alliance; The Hinge of Fate; Closing the Ring; Triumph and Tragedy. London: Cassell, (1948-54). Six volumes. Thick octavo, modern three-quarter burgundy morocco gilt, raised bands, spine compartments gilt-stamped with Churchill lion emblems, top edges gilt. $3500.
First English editions of Churchill’s WWII masterpiece, part history and part memoir, written after he lost reelection as Prime Minister, handsomely bound.
The six volumes of Churchill's masterpiece were published separately between 1948 and 1954. With the Second World War, Churchill "pulled himself back from humiliating defeat in 1945, using all his skills as a writer and politician to make his fortune, secure his reputation, and win a second term in Downing Street" (Reynolds, xxiii). "Winston himself affirmed that 'this is not history: this is my case" (Holmes, 285). Churchill was re-elected to the post of Prime Minister in 1951. "The Second World War is a great work of literature, combining narrative, historical imagination and moral precept in a form that bears comparison with that of the original master chronicler, Thucydides. It was wholly appropriate that in 1953 Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature" (Keegan, 175). Although preceded by the American editions, the English editions are generally preferred for their profusion of diagrams, maps, and facsimile documents. Cohen A240.4. Woods A123b. Langworth, 254.